New Hastings Health $20m facility under way

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New Hastings Health $20m facility under way

Hastings Health
Hastings Health Centre is to leave its current heritage building for a new purposebuilt facility

 The practice has “growth aspirations” but until this point growth has happened naturally

Work has begun on develop­ing a large new health centre in Hastings, following a scrapped plan for a joint venture.

Hastings Health Centre is moving ahead with the build of its new $20 million facility on the previous site of Bunnings Warehouse.

The new health centre build was first announced in 2015 and was originally planned to be a joint venture with Totara Health, but Hastings Health Centre chief executive Andrew Lesperance says that plan has changed.

The new build will now only be for Hastings Health Centre, but the two centres will “co-lo­cate”, sitting next door to one another and creating a health campus.

Last April, Totara Health gen­eral manager Emma Foster told New Zealand Doctor the financial implications of the integration had not panned out, but the two organisations would continue to work together.

Having the two centres side by side will be good for the com­munity as the two centres will offer quite different services, Ms Foster says.

Totara Health will offer a VLCA service with strong focus on the needs of Māori, Pasifika and other low-income commu­nities, she says, as well as the Hawke’s Bay youth service.

“I think there is enough work for everyone. We provide choice and it makes us all look at our­selves and make sure we are pro­viding the best service possible.”

Development has begun and ground was broken on the Bunnings Warehouse site late last year. The centre is expected to be ready by January 2019.

The practice celebrated its 15th anniversary last year, Mr Lesperance says, and it has outgrown the building it now occupies.

The current building, the old post office, sits on the corner of Queen and Russell Streets in Hastings and is a heritage build­ing, making changes difficult, he says.

Practice accommodating 28,000 patients

A shortage of parking is also a problem at the current site for the practice’s 28,000 patients. The accident and medical service run by the practice also needs more space, as it is now seeing upward of 80 patients a day.

Mr Lesperance says the prac­tice has “growth aspirations” but until this point growth has hap­pened naturally, with the prac­tice’s business model attracting GPs and patients.

The centre operates a model which tries to accommodate ideas GPs may bring in terms of how they want to work.

GPs can be salaried employ­ees of Hastings Health Centre, practice owners taking advantage of the management services provided by the large practice, or shareholders in the company as a whole.

The organisation is finding that younger GPs have a preference for the salaried model, he says.

There are several practices which currently operate under the Hastings Health Centre umbrella.

Although flexible with GPs, part of the deal is that they all take part in a weekend ros­ter, making the load lighter for everyone.

The new building, on the cor­ner of St Aubyn and King Streets, will be spread over two-and-a-half floors, with over 50 consult­ing rooms and spaces.

The ground floors will have radiology, accident and medi­cal, pharmacy, physio and, hopefully, ultrasound services, Mr Lesperance says. The first floor will be made up of the GP practices and support.

In addition to the pharmacy on the ground floor, a pharma­cist from the DHB will work with GPs at the practice.

Hastings Health Centre late last year also took on the prac­tices of two Havelock North GPs: Colin Wakefield, who retired in 2017, and Maurice Jolly.

The two practices were pur­chased by the Hastings centre, merged and were rebranded as The Havelock North Health Centre, based out of Dr Wakefield’s former practice on Middle Road.

Further changes in Hastings have included the health centre taking on its first nurse practi­tioner, Catrina Riley, who is spe­cialising in children and youth services.

Nurse practitioners are part of the practice’s change in service delivery model, Mr Lesperance says, and Ms Riley has been involved in providing the free care for patients aged under-18 which was introduced in July by Hawke’s Bay DHB.

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